First 10 minutes: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Peter Parker tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and must confront a new menace prowling the skies of New York City. From:

The Detained (2017) Directed by Blair Hayes

The horror version of "The Breakfast Club"? Sure sounds like it and it also seems like this movie was really trying hard to be just that. Trying, since its not like this movie is very successful at anything.

This movie definitely is too silly for its own good. It is an incredibly unsuccessful combination of comedy and slasher aspects. It first and foremost remains a comedy, which humor constantly gets in the way of its horror. Its horror is never given any room to ever develop into anything remotely effective. Needless to say that the movie is never scary, tense or somewhat mysterious to watch. All of its horror elements truly fall flat, which wouldn't have been such a big problem if the movie itself wasn't putting so much emphasis on the movie its horror, during its second half.

The movie actually starts off as a very typical teen comedy, that is never great or very funny to watch, but at least it had a clear style to it. This all changes once its horror kicks in, or rather said tries to kick in. It is as if the movie never knows when to make the switch between comedy and horror and allow its horror elements to truly kick in. The movie constantly keeps you waiting for things to develop. Waiting, for something that never comes. It is all very weird, since the movie clearly wants to be a slasher. It never drops its comedy, but story-wise it has all the markings of a typical slasher movie.

Really, if only the movie would have held back just a little with its comedy...It now instead feels as if the movie is afraid to become a too serious movie with anything, but this really prevents the movie from ever turning into anything good and engaging to watch. It is not like the characters are very likable as well. The movie focuses on a whole bunch of different characters, rather than having a solid- and clear main lead in it. No real 'hero' so to speak. Just a bunch of individuals we know nothing- and get to know nothing about.

Despite the fact that the movie is never a too successful one as a slasher, it still remains something that gets in the way of its comedy as well. Its violence and horror aspects never go along with its comedic aspects. While the humor of the movie often is too goofy, the horror is too often far too serious and straightforward. Again, it really doesn't go together very well. It really as if two totally unrelated movies got slapped together. The comedy never enhances the horror and the horror never enhances the movie its comedy. But what obviously is far worse is the lack of consistency and the fact that things never blend in well with each other.

It is not like it is the worst made movie, but the story and especially the lack of successful horror aspects and a terrible blend with its comedy, still make this an absolutely terrible movie to watch.


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Smartass (2017) Directed by Jena Serbu

You have all sorts of comedies, but this one goofy elements and characters with violence and sex isn't really among the most fun or funny ones.

It is a weird blend of many different elements. I can definitely see and understand what this movie was trying to do; it was trying to be an edgy comedy, perhaps in the vein of "Get Shorty" and "True Romance", but in its process it actually forgot about its story. Being goofy and edgy isn't enough if your story just isn't all that interesting or convincing.

It also is trying a bit too hard to be daring and edgy, with its exaggerated violence, characters and dialog. It feels forced, rather than natural and there most definitely never is a good balance between its heartfelt- and realistic and crazy- and exaggerated moments. A real mess of a movie, that is made all the more worse by its confusing writing and lacking forces.

It truly feels all over the place with its story. It is filled with countless side-plots and tons of characters, which all however too often lack a real purpose. It often also remains unclear what direction the movie is taking things at, which in this case isn't a positive thing. It lacks a clear goal and purpose with its story, which also is due to the fact that the story lacks a solid and likable enough main character.

Just like the rest of the movie, they tried a bit too hard to turn the main character into an edgy one. She is supposed to be a 15-year old 'smartass', who of course lacks absolutely nothing like a 15-year old and most definitely does not behave like one either, though the latter of course is intentional. She just isn't all that likable. The movie gives you very little reason to empathize and sympathize with her throughout the story. Not really Joey King her fault, but I blame the writing instead.

It actually is never a totally terrible movie to watch, but I just never had any fun with it. It overall also feels like a far too pointless movie, that lacks focus as well. It is never a very funny movie either, despite the movie its hard efforts. It is good looking, fast paced, but it yet fails to deliver as a decent enough comedy.


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Dead Again in Tombstone (2017) Directed by Roel Reiné

Ah yes, I have seen the first "Dead in Tombstone" and I apparently quite liked it, but I am not going to pretend like I remember much about it. Same goes for this movie. It is all good and fun to watch, but I doubt I am going to remember much about it in a few months from now.

It is basically a B-movie done right. It never pretends- or tries to be more than it is and it puts its emphasis on its entertaining aspects. It is following a story, but does it really matter? It is a very simplistic and straightforward story, which only purpose is to provide the movie with a ton of gun-slinging action and some crazy zombie action.

To be fair, the movie isn't as zombie and horror filled as I expected it would. If I remember correctly, this actually was the biggest selling point of the first Dead in Tombstone" movie, but this one however is more an action western, that is definitely more about its action.

I won't say Roel Reiné is a great director who makes great movies, but he certainly is one who knows how to handle action. Lets just say he is a 'light' version of Michael Bay, of low-budget movies. The action is absolutely delightful to watch and luckily there is plenty of it in this movie. It is well shot, well planned out and besides pretty loud. Most low-budget production don't bother too much with sound, but it really is something that could elevate an action sequence and make it all the more thrilling and exciting to watch, even at home.

It otherwise also remains a pretty decent looking movie, with its setting, sets, costumes and lighting. It most definitely isn't a typical cheap looking B-flick. It actually looks like it is set in the old west, though at the same time it is a bit of a fantasy world of course. It certainly is a very exaggerated movie, in just about every regard imaginable, including its world, characters, dialog and action.

These type of movies must be the most fun ones to do for Danny Trejo. He really plays the central role in this movie. A hero while still being a bit of a villain as well and a script that provides him with plenty of dialog and action to handle. It doesn't exactly have the name and reputation of a 'Machete' movie, but these movies are just as 'Danny Trejo' as any 'Machete' movie. He is not a great actor in these movies, but his presence and charisma alone is more than enough. I also quite enjoyed Jake Busey as the main villain. It is not necessarily a typical villainous Jake Busey part. He actually plays his role quite subtle and different from his usual 'psycho' parts.

Especially story-wise not the best movie to watch, but it knows to bring plenty of entertainment with its solid action and crazy fun characters and scenes.


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The Hatred (2017) Directed by Michael G. Kehoe

Nazi's and horror. What could go wrong? Well, plenty.

No, this is not an absolutely terrible movie, but it does feel like some wasted potential. The movie starts off promising enough, but a slow middle part and a disappointing end makes this movie nothing more but a somewhat OK horror flick, with plenty of flaws in it.

It seems to be a bit confused about what it wants to be. What seems to start off as a slasher, actually turns into a typical haunted house flick, as the movie goes along. It uses a lot of different horror ingredients and approaches to it. A lot of things work, but a lot of things also don't, or don't go along very well with each other. It is a bit of a mishmash of different horror themes, that the one moment is all great and fun to watch, but the next incredibly weak, though it all depends on personal taste of course.

The movie actually starts off promising enough and I much more would have preferred if the entire movie was a period piece, rather than just its first 15 minutes or so. As soon as the movie starts to take place in modern times I started to loose interest in it as well. It became a far too formulaic movie, with uninteresting characters and all of the usual settings and events. That doesn't mean that it is very eventful movie as well though. It was actually weird to see how the movie slowed down after such a fast start. For most part of the movie there really isn't happening all that much in it.

But once the real horror kicks in, it doesn't become much of a better movie really. It is all too clichéd, with all of the usual and expected jump scares in it, though I have to admit that the movie remains a pretty well made one, at least visually. It is also one of those modern horror movies that uses tons of CGI, but it is actually something that works well for this movie and it enhances the atmosphere, as well as some of the horror. It also has a good look to it, however don't expect much blood and gore from it.

What is even more disappointing than its middle part is its ending. I just can't even really call it much of an ending. The movie really doesn't seem to know how it should end, so it just simply, well, ends. Nothing wrong with the build up, but the pay off is most definitely lacking. And that pretty much sums up this movie; the build up to most things is pretty decent, but the build up however is too often leading up to nowhere, or just ends up being something disappointing.

It still is really far from the worst genre attempt I have ever seen, but it still doing far too much wrong to consider it to be a watchable enough genre movie.


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Bad Twin (2016) Directed by John Murlowski

It often is essential for thrillers to feature a decent enough concept that the movie can draw plenty of tension from. In this case the movie succeeds at this, though it is not quite enough to make it a totally effective genre movie as well.

The movie really has a 'fun' and decent enough sounding concept. I mean, creepy kids always work out well for these sort of movies. The movie also does a decent job handling most of its suspense. It however too often lacks a good enough buildup as well. As far as its storytelling is concerned, this is a very lacking movie. It never handles its mystery very well, making this an often too simplistic and shallow movie to watch. It never explains anything properly, which in my opinion is its biggest downfall. It just conveniently lets things happen, without setting up any proper character motivations and convincing- and engaging enough story-lines first.

As a whole the movie remains a decent enough little thriller to watch because of its concept, but it fails to turn into anything more than that due to the handling of it. Typical for a TV movie, that often are to the point- and very simplistic and straightforward movies to watch. There is never enough room for anything to truly develop, which is a shame, since its concept definitely showed more potential.

I just hate how characters are evil within this movie, without any explanation whatsoever. It can work in certain cases, however for this movie it really doesn't, since the lack of any sort of explanation and backstory is too apparent, all throughout. It doesn't make the movie necessarily bad, boring or predictable but it is something that makes the movie simplistic and forgettable.

The acting isn't anything too impressive either. The psycho kids are psycho kids and basically everybody else plays a happy, 'average' person. There very rarely is any subtlety or realism to these type of TV movies, as far as its characters are concerned. Granted, it is not all the actors their fault but it is not like the actors ever make a scene any more interesting or good to watch with their acting.

Well, it is still good enough to watch maybe once, if you are really into these Lifetime channel movies, but otherwise this remains nothing more but a very forgettable and far too straightforward and simplistic little thriller.


Sleepwalking in Suburbia (2017) Directed by Alex Wright

Basing an entire drama/thriller centered around sleepwalking, isn't that a bit crazy? Well, yes it is. Not just crazy, but certainly a bit silly as well.

The movie takes a very serious approach with its concept, as if it is following a sort of realistic dramatic story. However very little realistic or even somewhat convincing about its story. It is all incredibly far fetched, its main story as well as all of the developments in it. The developments are actually what makes the movie all the more worse to watch, especially the big twist at the end, which I regardless am not going to spoil for you.

Just nothing tense or exciting about a sleepwalking main character. The things she goes through are not only just unconvincing but also incredibly uninteresting. Both on a dramatic and thriller level this movie falls short. Its lack of good drama ensures that the movie never becomes the most engaging one around and the lack of good thriller elements ensures that the movie never becomes a very tense or exciting one neither.

And what is with the sleepwalking actress anyway? It is very typical for this movie that the sleepwalking itself isn't even all that convincing. She walks around like a zombie, which at times looks unintentionally laughable. Most of the actors are really struggling to deliver any good emotions as well, making this a very flat- as well as very unconvincing movie to watch. It besides doesn't make any of the characters all that likable.

Can't even really say that the film-makers are too blame in this case. They simply shot what they had to shot. It really is the script that doesn't work out and wouldn't have worked out under any other circumstances neither. It is that far fetched, flawed and just plain ridicules. Yes, maybe as a comedy this still could have been a remotely entertaining one, but I even doubt that.

Not necessarily a bad movie, but a very ridicules and silly one instead, in a not so very positive way.


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